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Xuereb, Farley take titles at Malta International Challenge Marathon

Matthew Xuereb won the men's category at the Malta International Challenge Marathon. Photo: Maria Vella Galea

The 30th edition of the Malta International Challenge Marathon concluded on Sunday in blustery gale force winds and wet conditions as athletes tackled the final stage, a 21km course, of the three-day road running event. 

Matthew Xuereb and Jemima Farley captured commanding victories in the final stage of the Challenge Marathon, their victories undisputed as they led the way throughout the three stages and etching their names in the history of this unique race.

Clive Ferrante and George Said, placed second and third respectively, maintaining the positions they earned in the first stage of the race on Friday.

Meanwhile in the females’ category, Cliantha Yasenchack kept her second overall placing for the third time. 

Nicola Camilleri placed third having also finished third in the previous day’s 5km race.

Several foreign athletes also took part, mostly hailing from The Netherlands, with representations from Germany and the USA also forming part of the starting list.

A notable presence amongst the athletes was 68-year-old Charles Darmanin who completed his 30th Challenge Marathon, having been present for all races since its inception.

Trophies to the overall and Age Group winners were presented immediately after the race by club president Ray Grech, who remarked: “The weather that we were faced with during the weekend of the Malta International Challenge Marathon certainly provided the promise of a challenge to all those taking part. After an absence of two years, it felt good to host the race once again.”

Birkirkara St Joseph Sports Club secretary general Euchar Camilleri expressed his gratitude towards those involved in the organisation of the race, particularly Bugibba, Qawra and St. Paul’s Bay local councils, LESA, Transport Malta, the medical teams, and the volunteers who braved the weather to support the athletes throughout.

“We are already looking forward to next year’s event, which takes place during the last weekend in November. The club will soon be launching its Calendar of Events for 2023, which promises to be varied as much as possible to ensure a satisfying race experience for all involved,” concluded Camilleri.


MEN: 1. Matthew Xuereb; 2. Clive Ferrante; 3. George Said.

WOMEN: Jemima Farley; 2. Cliantha Yasenchack; 3. Nicola Camilleri.

Over 35: Ruth Vella Falzon; Jan Degiorgio.

Over 40: Donatella Fenech; Andrea Criscione.

Over 45: Loren Mercieca; Frank Fenech.

Over 50: Josianne Cilia Mumford; David Galea.

Over 55: Doreen Polidano; Stephan Gross.

Over 60: Will Moonen.

Over 65: Joseph Ooninckx.

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